Formed: in Santiago, Chile
Group Members: Atom Heart, August Engkilde
Performed As: Uwe Schmidt, Lassigue Bendthaus, Lisa Carbon, lb, Atom Heart
Styles: Synth Pop, Experimental Techno, Tribute Albums, Chile, Latin Dance
For an absurdly comic idea, Senor Coconut proved to have more than a single note at their - or perhaps his - disposal, managing two albums and even planning a U.S. tour. German DJ and producer Uwe Schmidt (aka Atom Heart) had released dance music in his homeland under a number of different aliases during the first half of the 1990s. But he'd become bored with the European music scene and in 1996 transferred his base of operations to Chile in order to begin exploring the possibilities of Latin music, which was, he said, "a pretty much undiscovered planet to me. It unveils lots of interesting musical worlds to me." Adopting the ridiculous Senor Coconut moniker, he first cooked up El Gran Baile, a distinctly Latin-flavored groove-a-thon, and did a remix for former Deee-Lite turntablist Towa Tei. Then he began to ponder the possibilities of a German-Latin fusion, and found his material in the unlikeliest of places - the greatest hits of man-machine band Kraftwerk, best-known for their very inhuman, unemotional approach to music - the very opposite of Latin passion. The result was El Baile Aleman. Although credited to Senor Coconut y Su Conjunto, it was purely the work of Schmidt and three vocalists, who took the Kraftwerk machine ideal and tipped it on its head, putting in programmed cumbia, merengue, and salsa rhythms to flavor the Teutonic stew. Released as a one-off in 2000, it received a fair amount of critical acclaim in the U.S., more than Schmidt had received for any of his other work. In March 2001, Senor Coconut - now a real eight-piece band - was set to undertake a short headlining tour in North America, but visa problems for some of the Chilean musicians forced a cancellation.
-Chris Nickson (All Music Guide)